"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? ( Who watches the watchers?)" --Juvenal
Are we allowed to talk about martial law, the militarization of police, and the complete shutdown of cities on command? Or will that get the glorious law enforcers to storm and kick in our own doors now? Just what are the rules in effect today? Just what sort of precedent is being set here right before our eyes?
It was your commoner citizens who located the Boston bombing suspect after finding him hiding in a boat. This was after the martial law decree had arbitrarily been lifted, and it was now ordered permissible to go out in one's backyard again.
Is martial law the answer to sticky incidents with fleeing suspects? Can this now apply to any suspects or any manhunt in the United States, anywhere, for any reason?
One might argue that clearing the streets under military decree is very useful for a particular purpose when pursuing a suspect: allowing a "free fire zone" of automatic .40 caliber hollow point gunfire, the known preference of the new "Homeland Security" apparatus. So what precedents are we setting now, in terms of rewriting the entire law enforcement paradigm, arguably a much more serious concern than a single 19 year old bleeding suspect. Yeah. What the f*ck actually happened last week in Boston?
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"Governor Deval Patrick took an unprecedented security step, asking people in Boston, Watertown, and several other nearby communities -- totaling a million people -- to "shelter in place" -- stay at home behind locked doors and open up only to police officers with proper identification." --Boston Globe
"Asking?" Martial law is just a friendly request, and the Globe dutifully disseminates. CBS News counts "thousands of heavily armed law enforcement officers and scores of military-style tactical vehicles," but is quick to have an expert standing by to justify it as "perfect sense." Just perfect. All that for one bleeding, injured 19 year old.
One wonders how many tank divisions and predator squadrons might have been called in if this was one of the much-fabled "cells" we hear so much about on TV. I'm not disputing the need to capture the suspect, an obviously dangerous person, given what he is accused of doing. I am disputing the federal intervention, the military suspension of the Constitution and the militarization of local policing -- all greatly warned about numerous times as we descend into outright authoritarianism, clamoring for the federal troops and toys to come and save us. Not only were the public politely "asked" to stay within their homes, authorities also pushed the "media back further and further from the action unfolding (CBS)."
This bodes well for a free and open society.
In the midst of all this bombing hysteria the House of Representatives (sic) passed CISPA, with more government/private sector spying. Less accountability for the mishandling of your private data, and more total information awareness totalitarianism is ensured. That is the direction that every single one of these bills travels, bar none. Nearly every act of Congress concerning security of any sort increases government and corporate surveillance powers, diminishes accountability, oversight and the public's right to challenge their own surveillance by authorities both public and private. We are living more and more in The Matrix, with 4th Amendment protections now considered "quaint" and of a bygone era that no longer has any relevance today.
Praise for surveillance cameras has been noted since Boston with calls for more public surveillance, more facial recognition, more integration of things like traffic cameras and license plate readers.
"I think CCTV cameras are much more needed in urban areas." - Rep. Peter King (R), New York, House Committee on Homeland Security
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Of course he does. He thought that before this latest photo op. The answer is always more security, more surveillance, more intrusion, and less individual protection from government and from the private corporate sector.
A tremendous catharsis overwhelmed Boston with the announced capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as if that explained and ended everything. When you enact martial law with thousands of machinegun wielding stormtroopers and armored personnel carriers in the streets, and then make them go away, the people will be grateful. No doubt.
But this is where the story should be entering a new phase of discovery, intense investigation and disclosure. Sorry Boston; this is far from the end.
It was the FBI, apparently, who had monitored the two Chechen brothers for years, according to their own mother. Zubeidat K. Tsarnaeva claims the FBI had contacted her and her sons repeatedly over the past 5 years. She even claims that the two were "controlled" by the Feds and "set up" in some kind of sting operation. If that sounds baseless, well we have already had an admission by FBI that they "interviewed" the older brother Tamerlan back in 2011. Further, the Wall Street Journal reports that this FBI interview was in response to a "request by the Russian government."